DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » July 24th 2014, 7:15pm

I just did the Do It Yourself 2" body block lift on my 99 AWD Safari. I used the inexpensive nylon filled plastic 2"x3" spacer blocks from NORTH SHORE in Vancouver, and 140 MM long grade 10.9 bolts from my local Force Fastener supply store. While I was under there, I also replaced the worn out / torn OEM rubber cushions with ENERGY SUSPENSION Polyurethane bushings [ No E/S listing for the Astro/Safari but the six bushings included in the Chev P/U body kit worked perfectly ...E/S part # 3.4116 ] .

With only 215 K kms on my AWD Safari, I found only two sets of upper/lower cushions were in good enough condition that I would consider them re-usable. For under $ 100, the POLY bushings seemed like a great upgrade at a reasonable cost. When you price out the OEM rubber cushions [ and the wait time from the dealer ] the Poly bushings are a real bargain. And they should stiffen up the frame to sub-frame connection and minimise sway and wallowing.

I wanted to keep the center of gravity low, and keep the drive shaft / front suspension angles as close to stock as possible to m,inimise front end wear, so rather than torque up the torsion bars, I decided to take a BFH and 4" body grinder and cut /beat / flare the wheel wells. Now I have the equivalent of a 4" lift, with totally smooth inner fenders, and the option of adding a bit more lift with the torsion bars if I want.

DRILLING AND CUTTING THE TABS THAT GET BENT IN
Image

2" EXTRA CLEARANCE
Image

All in all a great day. The lift went smoothly, and except for a bit of tweaking the power steering hose over from the pulley, the hardest part was cleaning all the rust off of the body to frame cushion retaining washers and getting the [email protected]#$$% top half of the fan shroud to line up with the bottom after I had done the cut out. And of course, doing the lift on the one rainy day this week [ I decided a bit of rain was better than baking my brains out in our usual HOT weather ].

Now I am waiting for my local spring shop to tell me the special order HD 1750 lb Safri rear springs are in.
OH BOY!!
[;{)
LAZ 1
Last edited by LAZ 1 on July 24th 2014, 7:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby Lumpy » July 24th 2014, 7:27pm

Could we see some pics of those wheel wells from further back? To sense the whole effect, and to see how the lift looks.


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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby 97cargocrawler » July 24th 2014, 7:45pm

Lumpy wrote:Could we see some pics of those wheel wells from further back? To sense the whole effect, and to see how the lift looks.
Lump

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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby Lumpy » July 24th 2014, 7:47pm

I'm getting very confused.

I'm getting very confused.


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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby SilverBullet1997 » July 24th 2014, 8:28pm

What's so confusing?
R.I.P.-1997 Astro AWD SilverBullet I 4-9-1997 to 2-17-2015 - Cause of death: Rear-ended
R.I.P.-1999 Astro AWD SilverBullet II 1-4-1999 - July-2016 - Cause of death: Roadrash passenger side

Current: 1999 Astro AWD GreenBullet I - Purchased 02/2018
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby Lumpy » July 24th 2014, 10:34pm

SilverBullet1997 wrote:What's so confusing?


Well it used to be "How do they make round toothpicks?" Then I found out that some guy invented a machine that, um, makes round toothpicks.

So now I'm just confused about how Cargo and I are following each other around the duplicate threads and duplicating our duplicate follow up questions - in duplicate.


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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » July 25th 2014, 2:48am

Tomorrow I might be at the compound where I store and am working on my FUGLY 99 AWD Safari. I just bought two new MOOG Idler arms and a ball joint compressor and am eager to do a re and re of the idler arms. When I had the front end inspected prior to getting an alignment, the shop said that most of the front end parts were in good condition, but that I could use new idler arms [ what a surprise, Ehhh? ].
[;{)

I will take some pics with the new wheel well trim in place. I used black plastic garden edging moulding, which has a round section. It looks pretty good around the new crease line of the wheel wells. Unfortunately, the stock 215/75/R15 LT tires are still in there, so you can't see what it will look like with the larger tires. I have decided to listen to some of the good advioce I get here, and will try LT 235/75/R15 tires first. Maybe I don't really need to go any larger on tires.
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby Corsemoto » July 25th 2014, 2:52am

Sounds like a good plan! :thumbup:
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby 97cargocrawler » July 25th 2014, 7:35am

I had 235/75's with my 2" block/shackle lift. Why would you do all that cutting for some tiny tires? I really don't think that will look good.
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » July 31st 2014, 12:58am

Fenders were drilled with a series of 1/8" hole 1" from the wheel well flare edges. Then slots were cut making a series of tabs and the tabs were bent in to match re-radiused opening. Finished the wheel well edge with round black plastic garden / lawn edging moulding. Still require rear plastic splash mouldings re-contour and mounting.

NOTE: 1.5" extra clearance was achieved for larger tires WITHOUT RAISING THE CENTER OF GRAVITY, OR CHANGING THE FRONT SUSPENSION ANGLES.

IMHO,
CUTTING A BIT OF METAL OUT OF THE FENDERS IS INFINITELY EASIER TO DO,
AND EASIER ON THE FRONT SUSPENSION PARTS,
than simply cranking up on the front torsion bars.

I have MANY MILES of experience at running cranked to the max front torsion bars with FIVE different 4X4 Toyota LE vans. I also ran some rather large tires [ that is ... LARGE for an LE van ... as in 27"X8.50R14 Muds Terrains OR 235/75/R15 LT ]. All in all, a higher center of gravity on a tall slab sided van absolutely requires STIFFER SIDE WALLS on the tires. Otherwise, the van will sway and wander much more than a stock vehicle. And we don' wan' de van be rockin' and rollin' unless it be parked at de submarine races, now do we??.
BTDT
[;{)


Right side
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Left side ... still requires a small bead of black marine grade Sykaflex along joint
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby Lumpy » July 31st 2014, 5:43am

So wenya gonna put some big tires on that thing?

... :poke:

Can youi back up and give us a whole side shot?


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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » August 29th 2014, 1:37am

Image

Started in chopping the roof off with a skill saw with a metal blade and a 5" body grinder with a zip wheel. Eventually it will become a mini motor home like the Tiger.
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Re: DIY 2" body lift ... with a bit more work than usual.

Postby 97cargocrawler » August 29th 2014, 4:26am

That van is begging for a Hot Tub the way it sits now. :o
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